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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

76                                     LIFE  OF
The next morning brought Hutnbolclt to the port
of Carthagena, where for six days he was employed
in astronomically determining localities, and where lu>
witnessed the popular Easter festivities, which were
accompanied by strange exhibitions. At the saiuo
time his plans met with their first check hero, for lie
heard, to his infinite regret, that the season waw much
too far advanced now to undertake a voyage on the
South Sea from Panama to Guayaquil, and ho was
therefore compelled to relinquish his intention of'
exploring the isthmus of Panama.
N~ear Carthagena lies an Indian village, called
Turbaco, whose fertile woody environs greatly mi-
chained Humboklt's attention, more particularly the
remarkable wind or air volcano^ called volcaiiitoe»s?*
lying in the midst of palm-groves. A hitherto xtn-
known world of plants, also, was spread before him
and Bonpland, who indeed occupied himself princi-
pally with botany.
Humboldt endeavoxirecl, by other studies, to com-
pensate for the journey, postponed on account of the
lateness of the season ; and the treasxires of science he
had collected on the Orinocco stream encouraged lam
to undertake a similar trip on the Magdalen stream,,
a river flowing through the beautiful and majestic
valleys of New Granada, and entering the sea by
several mouths not far from Oarthagena. They took
a boat, and went up the Stream into the country as far
as Honda, where Bonpland explored the rich bota-
nical treasxires of the shore, while Humboldt drew a
chart of the river district, in spite of the torments of
insects, climate, and dangerous localities. At Honda
they landed, to proceed to the capital, St. fo do
Bogota, on mules, almost the only travelling conve-
nience on the continent of Soiith America. They had
* These volcanitoes consist of fif&een to twenty, bhmiocl
nineteen to twenty-five feet high, situated on a largo free Rpot of
about 1000 square feet in the centre of the wood. TJioy liavo an
opening filled with water, and emit air bubblo% accompanied by &
loud noise.